Tuesday, June 7, 2011

mmm Gorgonzola

I'm not sure what my deal is right now, but dishes incorporating this cheese's salty goodness seem to beckon me unmercifully as of late.  Rather than resist, I've decided to offer it permanent residence in my fridge.  

A seasonally versatile ingredient, it's as amazing melting in an oozy sauce over filet mignon in the winter time as it is on a summer salad.  I love that it perfectly compliments sweet ingredients like my new fave dried cherries (you've created a monster, Kate), while still being able to stand up to peppery steaks.  It partners particularly well with balsamic vinegar, and the two meals below celebrate this fab flavor marriage.

Steak and Gorgonzola Piadini  (Click here for Recipe)

The thin bread of this sandwich adds a subtle, crispy backdrop while allowing the other ingredients to shine.  I totally did not make my own bread as the recipe suggests, but instead picked up Lavash at the store and subsequently rejoiced because it was easy AND tasty.  The Lavash is speckled with gorgonzola before the initial grilling, which brings out the cheese's mellow, sweet notes vs. the sharper quality of the cold crumbles added at the end.  As promised, the arugula is dressed with tangy balsamic vinaigrette, adding a welcomed brightness to the other rich flavors.

I flipped the sandwich for this photo to capture the gorgonzola tumbling out from among the slices of juicy steak.  I mean, yum.

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza

This next dish was born from a California Pizza Kitchen creation that combines salty gorgonzola, sweet pears, sweet/savory caramelized onions (aka heaven) and fresh arugula on a honey whole wheat crust. 

(So it doesn't look like a pizza in the traditional round sort of way.  It's laziness, really, as the shape comes from the way I carelessly cut the dough ball into pieces...we make flatbreads enough that it's just become a habit.)

My attempt to replicate this at home commenced with sauteing 2 vidalia onions, thinly sliced into half moons, for about 30 minutes in a Tbsp or two,each, of butter and olive oil until caramelized.

Meanwhile, I cut two pears into slices, brushed them with melted butter, dusted them with sugar and baked at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until they were tender.

I rolled out store-bought whole wheat pizza dough, brushed it with olive oil, and sprinkled it with kosher salt and pepper before hub took it to the grill for 3ish minutes on each side.  You could also very easily do this in a 400-450 degree oven.  After the crust had some color, I topped it with a layer of the caramelized onions, roasted pears and gorgonzola and then put it back on the heat for a minute or two to melt the cheese. 

While CPK's pizza is topped with greens coated in a creamy, over-the-top gorgonzola dressing, I opted for the go-to balsamic flavor combo.  The quick dressing: equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil, a little squeeze of dijon mustard, a bit of honey, and then kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  I tossed the arugula in this mixture and scattered it over the pizza. 

I could not stuff my face fast enough with this.  The wolfing actually and embarrassingly left me with a sore jaw.  Yeah, I just admitted that.


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